A lot of things are happening in and around the women’s game right now. The investment has increased, the interest in the game is even bigger and women are afforded more space, recognition and respect in the footballing world. These developments are all positive signs that the women’s game is heading in the right direction; though we might sometimes wish that in some areas this was happening even quicker. Lately I have been impressed by three specific situations which have left me wondering if a real breakthrough for women’s football is on the horizon. I see similarities between these events that are a sign of times changing.
A new, three year TV-deal for the Women’s Super league was officially announced a couple of weeks ago. The deal is worth a record sum that has never been seen before in the women’s game. The big channels Sky Sports and the BBC will broadcast more games next season, giving greater exposure to the league as well as more money for the clubs. A deal like this are something that we have not been spoiled with before in our game and is one deal which is a great statement to the rest of the football world, that the bar is being set higher than before. Are the times changing?
This year Women’s Champions League final will be played in Gothenburg, Sweden at the stadium Gamla Ullevi. The owners of the arena GotEvent think highly of the event and want to make sure that the pitch is in best possible condition for the final. Therefore the home team of that stadium, the men’s IFK Gothenburg have to move four of their games before the final the 16th of May. It may seem obvious for many but as female footballers we have previously not been spoiled with being the priority. We are more familiar with being the ones giving way to others. Are the times changing?
#Mismapasion. Is the hashtag familiar to you? Real Madrid´s keeper Misa Rodriguez posted a picture of her celebrating next to another picture of Marco Asensio celebrating as well. It did not take long before she received a lot of negative comments where people were questioning her and her post. Shortly after the football community showed its solidarity and passion for the sport. Big stars on the men’s side showed their support and together with big clubs they shared the hashtag. It should not be a question of whether we share the same passion for the same sport. But this wave of love and solidarity among players is really heart warming and I would say I have not seen this that often before. This is something that gives me hope and makes me believe that the culture within the sport is slowly changing to be more open and welcoming for everyone.
Three different events that relate to different aspects of the game, but still we can see the common theme. Times are changing. Three events that do not put men and women against each other, where it is a constant battle about who is the best and who should get the most. Interest is increasing, people are daring to make demands and the passion continues to be shared. Same sport, same passion. We all share it. Is the big breakthrough close?
Read the original text in Swedish at Fotbollskanalen